Volunteering for the Southern Tier CA$H program
Do you want to feel good at tax time?
CA$H is seeking individuals to join its team of volunteer tax preparers, receptionists, and screeners. Opportunities are available in all areas of Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties, especially in Bath, Corning, Elmira, Hornell, and Watkins Glen.
- It's easy!
If you have balanced a checkbook or done your own taxes, you can be a volunteer tax preparer! No accounting experience is needed; the software will guide you every step of the way. If you are more interested in customer service, we have a special need for volunteer receptionist/greeters at most CA$H sites.
- It's convenient!
You can decide how often you want to volunteer, and you choose the times and location that work for you. Evening and daytime hours are available, and CA$H sites are available across the Southern Tier.
- You are protected!
Clients sign their own tax returns and are personally responsible for providing accurate information to the CA$H volunteers. The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 protects volunteers for liability for returns prepared within their scope of IRS certification.
What to expect as a CA$H volunteer
- Volunteer tax preparer position description
- Volunteer receptionist position and volunteer screener position description
A tax session "shift" is usually a 3-4 hour period on a weekday morning, afternoon, evening or on a Saturday morning. Preparers are asked to work at least two sessions a week. In February there is a high demand for extra preparers and working at least one additional shift would be welcomed and appreciated. Each CA$H site sets its own schedule for tax appointments based on the availability of volunteer preparers. Once volunteers have scheduled their hours for 4-6 weeks going forward, tax appointments are booked based on the overall site appointment schedule. It is important that volunteers notify their site coordinators of changes in their availability.
Prior to the tax season, each preparer is required to certify as a VITA Income Tax Preparer. A mandatory orientation will be held in mid-November. Volunteers are required to attend site orientation, complete practice returns in the tax preparation software and do their first returns under direct supervision. Training and practice must be completed by early January so preparers are ready by February 1 when tax sites open.
The site coordinator will designate someone to oversee the site management for each shift and designate an onsite tax consultant for that shift. (Some days it may be the same person.) Additionally a tax resource person is always available by phone.
Becoming a volunteer
If you are interested in being a new volunteer, Email us at
You will be asked to complete a CA$H New Volunteer Form and mail to:
Southern Tier CA$H
c/o Arbor Housing and Development
26 Bridge Street, Corning, NY 14830
If you are a returning volunteer, please complete the CA$H Volunteer Intake Form and return it to the above address.
All volunteers must complete IRS training and certification by early January.
For more information on training visit Volunteer Training Information
Questions? the CA$H program.